As preparations commence for the New Zealand v AFL Academy clash at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on April 27th, we will work through a list of talented candidates in the mix to make an impact for New Zealand against the Australian team.
Players already named in the 2020 International Cup Squad will all come into contention. The upcoming 2019 AFL New Zealand Premiership could also provide the coaching staff with some answers.
The successful 2018 Under 18 New Zealand team, the 2017 International Cup squad, an impressive contingent of Australian based players and a host of debutants in the 2019 AFL New Zealand Premiership, will all play a part in what is expected to be the most competitive selection process in recent memory.
Lucas Jellyman-Turner is a rather unknown name when it comes to New Zealand representation, but he is making big strides to pull on the Silver Fern for the first time.
Born and raised in Christchurch, Jellyman-Turner relocated to Melbourne with his Family where he began playing for the Berwick Football Club in Melbourne’s South East.
In the past four years, Jellyman-Turner has won two senior Premierships in 2015 (Best on Ground) and 2017. Berwick lost in 2016 and he has only missed 2 games of footy across those four years.
While being at Berwick, Lucas has completed pre-seasons at VFL level for both Frankston Football Club and the Casey Demons.
When asked about the possibility of representing New Zealand, Jellyman-Turner responded;
“It would be an exciting opportunity to reconnect with where I am from and would be an honour”
With further links to NZ, Lucas attended Hallam College which is the same School that Shane Savage was enrolled and the team the New Zealand Under 18’s came up against in May this year.
In other news: Who will wear the Silver Fern? – Part 1
From the small South Island town of Takaka in Golden Bay, Ben Northover is another new name to the AFL New Zealand Community.
Ben now resides in Melbourne and plays for the Frankston Bombers in the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League (MPNFL).
In 2016, he was rookie listed through the Casey Demons VFL programme and is a talented defender.